Tailgating: This is more like it

  • Article by: KEVIN SEIFERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 29, 2007 - 12:30 AM

The Vikings have designated four of their newly purchased parking lots as tailgating zones. The conversion is effective beginning with the Sept. 9 game against Atlanta.

The Vikings have designated four of their newly purchased parking lots as tailgating zones. The conversion is effective beginning with the Sept. 9 game against Atlanta.

The lots are all within three blocks of the Metrodome, giving the Vikings their first on-site tailgating option since the facility opened in 1982. Most recently, the closest tailgating option was in the Rapid Park area, where the new Twins ballpark is now under construction.

"This will give our fans the opportunity for a full-day experience right across from the Metrodome," said Steve LaCroix, vice president of sales and marketing.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf this summer paid $45 million for the lots, between 3rd Street and 5th Street along Portland and Park avenues, from Avista Capital Partners, owner of the Star Tribune. The property eventually could become part of Wilf's proposal for a new stadium and retail area, but in the meantime the Vikings have taken over management of gameday parking.

A total of 1,100 spaces are available for tailgating, with first priority given to season-ticket holders. Season passes are $280, while single-game passes are $40.

Where art thou, Moore?

The tailback tandem of Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson figures to get most of the Vikings' carries this season, leaving the remainder of their backfield depth in limbo.

At times this summer, the Vikings have appeared to be showcasing running back Mewelde Moore for a possible trade. In last Saturday's game at Seattle, Moore was covering punts -- even making a tackle to stop Nate Burleson's 53-yard return. But offensively, Moore was the fourth tailback off the bench, after Taylor, Peterson and Artose Pinner.

Would the Vikings release Moore if they cannot trade him? If a decision has been made, coach Brad Childress wasn't saying Tuesday.

"He's doing more in terms of special teams," Childress said. "We know about his return abilities. I mentioned to you earlier that he has had a good camp. He's grown within this system in terms of taking some of those 4-yard runs front side instead of looking for a home run every time.

"Will he have an opportunity? That will be when we figure out who is on this squad. But he certainly has the ability to do [special teams] and come in and play running back, [or] come in and play out of the backfield as a guy you can extend."

Etc.

• The Vikings reduced their roster to the NFL's maximum of 75 Tuesday morning. They released wide receiver Justin Surrency, while waiving injured cornerback Mike Hawkins (ribs) and linebacker Cameron Siskowic (neck). Monday, they waived injured tight end Braden Jones but had not announced it by Tuesday evening.

• Safeties Mike Doss (calf) and Tank Williams (unknown) missed practice again Tuesday and are unlikely to play Thursday night. The same goes for linebacker Vinny Ciurciu (finger) and receiver Bobby Wade (ankle).

• Safety Darren Sharper has signed with local Fox affiliate KMSP (Ch. 9) to serve as co-anchor of "Fox 9 Sports Primetime" this season. Sharper will make his first appearance on the Sunday night show on Sept. 9. Sharper also will contribute to KMSP's weekly web-only show "Pro Football on Demand," on www.myfox9.com at 3 p.m. each Monday.

Staff writer Judd Zulgad contributed to this notebook.

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